OUR LOCAL PROJECTS
Collecting Items for Care Packages
Homelessness, sex and human trafficking, drugs and poverty are all very real problems, even in Western Pennsylvania. Maybe you don't know anyone personally that has ever dealt with these problems, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.
On a local level, we are hoping to help, in a very small way, by collecting items that can be made into Care Packages and given to agencies that deal with these issues. We'd love your help! Click below for a list of items we are collecting.
Read about these problems below and the agencies that are trying to help. If you'd like to do something on a more personal level, please just let us know. We'd be happy to give you more information.
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40
The world of the homeless seems very far from yours -- but in some ways it is quite near. For any of us, the loss of a job, the death of a spouse or a child or a severe physical disability could be the route to total despair.
These are the very tragedies that have happened to many homeless people. Struck by personal tragedies, the people in shelters across America, have lost their homes and been deserted by the families and friends they once had.
Our church family works with Family Promise offering one of our churches for lodging every couple of months with the congregation working together to provide meals, companionship and transportation to day programs. This strategy enables networks to help homeless families achieve lasting independence at a third of the cost of traditional shelters.
The Pathway Homeless Shelter, located in Black Lick, PA provides temporary emergency shelter and support services for families or individuals who have nowhere to sleep at night.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Matthew 25:35-36
Sex and Human Trafficking
Sex traffickers can trick and victimize anyone. Anyone. No matter the age, or the sex. And it's happening in Pittsburgh right now. Only four years ago, it wasn't. How soon till it's in Indiana County?
Here are two articles that show just how easy it is to fall victim. Girls as young as 12 years old are being targeted on the streets, at bus stations, and even at college campuses — and sold into the sex trade.
• America’s second largest illegal market - second only to drugs
• At least 100,000 American children fall victim to sex trafficking per year
• Only 1% of these victims are rescued
Learn more at Living in Liberty, a Facebook page for a non-profit organization working to provide aftercare for those rescued from the commercial sex industry. They are an anti-human trafficking organization in Pittsburgh PA working together to "eradicate human trafficking one life at a time."
Injustice- when someone abuses their power to take from others the good things God wants them to have - their life, liberty, dignity, and the fruits of their love and labor
The Blairsville/Black Lick area is among the many smaller communities that have been affected as drug trafficking has spread through western Pennsylvania.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 105 people die as a result of drug overdose each day in the United States and 6,748 are treated in emergency departments for misuse or abuse of drugs.
Now Blairsville has a group dedicated to helping spread awareness, educating the community and supporting those affected by drug addiction. The Blairsville Support Group Against Drugs meets at 6 p.m. on the second Sunday of every month (third Sunday in May because of Mothers' Day) in the Blairsville Borough council chambers.
There's such a stigma that goes along with addiction, that they're bad people or lowlife people, and that's not the case. Addiction can happen to anybody.
In Indiana County, heroin use has reached “epidemic” levels. Researchers from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, or CASA, found that 9 out of 10 American addicts started smoking, drinking or using drugs before the age of 18 and one in four of those people become addicted to some sort of drug.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Almost 1.8 million people in Pennsylvania were living in poverty last year. A family of four with an income less than $23,492 was considered poor.
If all the children in Pennsylvania were lined up, every sixth child would be a poverty victim. Poverty knows no political affiliation or geographical boundaries.
Being poor is intertwined with several other negative issues: job loss, inadequate access to physical and mental health care, insufficient wages, lack of education and job skills, addictions, underemployment, teen pregnancy and more. Poverty can result from and fuel these issues.
Poverty limits opportunities and erects barriers. If you are poor, you are more likely to drop out of school. Individuals who drop out of high school in Pennsylvania are more than six times as likely to live in poverty than graduates, have a median annual income of less than $15,000, and contribute far less in income taxes over a lifetime compared with high school and college graduates. For children in particular, once they fall behind, many will spend a lifetime trying to catch up.
Indiana County Head Start, Inc. provides Head Start and Early Head Start services throughout Indiana County. The agency enrolls 350 children birth through school age. Indiana County Head Start engages the child's family to assist in the preparation of their children's future success.
God could do it all for us - but that's not His plan. He has chosen to work through the frailty of man. It might sound strange to our ears, it might seem a little odd - but we are His chosen vessels - we are the Hands and Feet of God. John 13:34-35